hominids: Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen was a four-part television documentary series about human evolution produced by the BBC in 2003 and later shown in the United States by the Discovery Channel. Like Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Cavemen was made in the style of a wildlife documentary with a narrative voice-over.

I’ve been meaning to include it for some years but have always been put off by the seeming impossibility of identifying which actress was under which pre-human makeup. Then I remembered that the BBC did a publicity photoshoot featuring a male and female Homo ergaster; Suzanne Cave was the actress who portrayed the female Homo ergaster.

Homo ergaster (1.9 million–c600,000 years ago) was was amongst the first to leave Africa and colonise other continents. After ergaster leaves Africa, it becomes known as Homo erectus (1.8 million–c30,000 years ago). Ergaster was tall and muscular and probably obtained food by scavenging or by chasing animals across the savannah until they died from exhaustion.

The makeup

David White (Altered States FX) and Sacha Carter were responsible for the special makeup effects. Matthew Smith, Nik Williams (Animated Extras) & Barrie Gower (BGFX) were among the prosthetic makeup artists on the series.